LOUNGEWEAR’S VARIETY ACT

Byline: KARYN MONGET

NEW YORK — Microfibers, fabric mixes and textured treatments will be top ideas for early spring at sleepwear and loungewear firms.
Vendors also note that fashion colors and prints are expected to continue fueling business, along with dual-purpose looks and updated, younger-looking silhouettes like chemises and short pajama sets.
Greg Stephenson, director of product development for sleepwear, robes, daywear and panties under the Vanity Fair brand at Vanity Fair Mills, said the biggest news will be an updated sleepwear group called “Modern Romantics.”
“We’ll be doing things in a different way to address consumers who are not familiar with nylon tricot,” said Stephenson, noting that Vanity Fair is targeting a younger, more contemporary sleepwear customer.
“The styling will be more sensual, closer to the body,” said Stephenson.
The new sleepwear line, which will have hangtags saying “Modern Romantic,” will feature three groups: long gowns in a new nylon microfiber called Microessence; long and short nylon tricot gowns with daisy lace-pattern bodices, and long and short nylon tricot gowns that will feature bodices of nylon and Lycra spandex.
Fashion colors will include plum, violet, teal, brandy and royal. There also will be paler shades of pink, mint and blue in the microfiber group, which will be styled in draped silhouettes and will be available in XL sizes.
“Anything with texture works,” said Howard Radziminsky, vice president of sales at the Cinema Etoile division at Movie Star Inc.
“Mixing fabrics will be an entire new direction for Cinema Etoile,” he added.
As an example, he said, a top of ribbed cotton knit will be teamed with a long skirt of cotton gauze. In at-homewear and sleepwear, other fabrics will include cotton pointelles and thermals, puckered and crinkled polyester charmeuse and floral-print Micromattique nylon and Lycra.
Tom Bezduda, Cinema Etoile’s designer of at-homewear and knit sleepwear, noted there will be an expanded line of dual-purpose cotton knits in whimsical prints that are “meant to be worn as sleepwear or at-homewear.”
Pam Esteves, Cinema Etoile’s sleepwear designer, said she will expand on two top ideas: stretch lace chemises and three-piece pajama sets, which will include a bra top, a big shirt and paper-bag-waist boxers.
“We’ll be focusing on more textured fabrics in August,” said Judy Lewis, president of Periphery Inc.
Fabrics will include blends of cotton and Lycra and laundered woven and knit cottons. Texture ideas will include pleating, puckering, mesh and slub effects.
Amy South, merchandiser of the licensed Michael Kors line of at-homewear at Boutique Industries, said three new groups by Kors will be shown in August: One will use a men’s shirting fabric in khaki and black stripes on an ivory ground, another will consist of textured knits of cotton and polyester in khaki and the third is in blue and white stripe rayon gauze.
She noted that the licensed loungewear by Mary McFadden will have a new updated group of semisheer polyester georgette in a watercolor tulip print. Silhouettes will include a long wrap robe with ruffled cuffs, pajamas, a long slip gown and a chemise with ruffled bottom.
The moderate line at Boutique, called Travel-lite, will feature items of printed cotton and polyester terry that have a ready-to-wear look. Prints will include a multicolor Hawaiian floral and a Victorian paisley and scroll pattern in pastels.
Jack Weinstock, president of Pacific Silk & Clothing Co., maker of Silx by August Silk innerwear, said, “The key for us is the continuing flow of prints and textures. We’ve been so focused on sleepwear, because it’s been so explosive for us, that we’ve added additional silhouettes.”
New silhouettes will include more chemises and a short romper, all in washable silk.
Weinstock further noted that fall innerwear business is up 30 percent, and he expects the same gains for resort-early spring business.

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